Young man focusing on recovery months after fiery Davidson County crash

DAVIDSON COUNTY, N.C. — We hear the same message all the time, don’t drink and drive. During the holidays, law enforcement is out in full force, warning you not to get behind the wheel if you have been drinking. It’s important to remember the consequences for driving impaired don’t stop with the driver.

For Cody Carlson, each scar and each surgery serve as a reminder for how close the 23-year-old came to not being here this Christmas.

“I don’t think I even realized it until I had surgery on this arm and that leg, and then I was like, I’m in the hospital,” Carlson said.

On Aug. 27, Cody was driving home from a friend’s house on Holloway Church Road in Davidson County, when troopers say another driver crashed head-on into Cody. Both cars went up in flames. The driver, troopers say, crossed the center line and hit Carlson was charged with driving under the influence.

“I just remember waking up and being like, ‘Where am I at? How did I get here?” Carlson said.

Cody’s sister, Ciara, was hours away when she heard her brother had been rushed to the hospital.

“As soon as I heard, I drove straight home from college so I could see him in the hospital, just so I could see that he was doing okay, or ‘okayish’ I guess you could say,” she said.

He’s come a long way since rods held his bones together in a hospital bed.

“He was like, ‘I’m going to get walking again before my birthday.’ And he was right. His birthday is Thursday and he’s already walking again,” his sister said.

Now they’re both taking steps to try and make sure what happened to Cody doesn’t happen to others.

“I just hope that my brother’s story encourages others to, you know, think before getting behind the wheel after having a few drinks, because I could have lost my brother,” she said.

“There’s no turning back once you’re in there. Something can happen to you, something can happen to someone else. It’s all up in the air at that point, you don’t really have any control over it,” he said.

One of the other amazing things about Cody’s story, his car was completely destroyed along with everything in it, except for a picture of Jesus. Cody’s dad put the photo in his car when he started driving. They found intact at the crash site.

The driver in this case is due in court on charges related to the crash next month.

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